photo credit: Apple_Mac // Shutterstock
All 9 victims of the Calabasas helicopter crash that claimed the lives of NBA Legend, Kobe Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, have been named. The 9 people were on their way to a travel league basketball game when the aircraft went down.
Kobe Bryant, a 5-time NBA champion, who played his entire 20-season career with the L.A. Lakers before retiring in 2016. Coming right out of high school and into the league, Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, and the 2008 NBA MVP. He led the NBA in scoring during 2 seasons, and ranks 4th on the NBA all-time scoring list. He also won an Oscar for Dear Basketball, an 5-minute, hand-drawn, animated film that highlights some of his greatest moments in the league as he narrates using the letter he wrote to announce his retirement from basketball. The short film won Best Animated Short in 2018.
— Voice of reason (@LyndaNwaizu) January 26, 2020
Bryant coached Gianna’s AAU basketball team out of his Mamba Sports Academy training facility over the past few years. Kobe has spoken on Gianna’s aspirations to be a pro basketball player in the WNBA, also making sure people knew that she would be the one to carry out his legacy.
On the plane was also Orange Coast College longtime head baseball coach, John Altobelli, his wife, Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli. Alyssa was a teammate of Gianna.
Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton Chester were also on-board. Payton was a teammate of Gianna.
Along with Christina Mauser, a girl’s basketball coach at Harbor Day School, where Kobe’s daughter attended school. Her husband, Matt Mauser, founded the Tijuana Dogs, a popular Orange County band. In a Facebook post he said: “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash.”
The pilot of the helicopter was Ara Zobayan, a man who “taught aspiring heli pilots to fly and was very much loved in the aviation community.”
Sending love and support to all of the families!